Tyson Chartier is a former mixed martial artist and is one of the most prominent mixed martial arts managers and coaches on the East Coast. He is the manager and head coach of UFC Featherweight title contender Calvin Kattar and Top 10 UFC Bantamweight Rob Font.
Tyson Chartier: Here we go all right, so i kind of want to start a little bit talking about your journey into mma. I’M sure a lot of the interviews you’ve had people are talking about. You know calvin and and rob so, but i’d like to start a little bit and talk about you and what got you into mma. Obviously you have some fights as well um. So what ultimately led you to the sport, so i uh. I wrestled in high school and then um went to college and just wanted to stay active, so i played lacrosse and just kind of picked. It up. Did it for a little bit stay active and then coached lacrosse in grad school. I got my mba and then i got out – and i just had this like void, like i just missed being on a team or miscompeting and uh. I remember seeing like ufc on tv and um. I remember thinking like oh it’d, be fun to just do. Jiu jitsu, you know get back into grappling a little bit and then uh. My girlfriend’s mom at the time was like. Oh there’s a club down the street, so i went and tried it and um just kind of got hooked and one of the guys i was you know. Just doing you know rolling with he uh was getting ready for a fight. He asked me if i’d spar a little bit. I don’t even know what sparring was and and then he had me cornering for his first fight – and i was like oh maybe i’ll – do one fight. This is probably back in 2005 2006. It was when i started, and i was like maybe i’ll just do one fight and then i end up overall having 15 fights and as i was doing, that just little by little started uh, you know cornering a lot of my teammates started, getting a lot of Them fights, you know guys like rob and uh other uh. You know some of his teammates who started getting them fights and uh. It just kind of happened. It’S it’s funny because every time i talk to uh to act or to ufc athletes in particular, like i spoke to jasmine jesuda vicious, who just she’s 4-0 up and coming. She started mma about six months ago and same sort of thing. It was just you know. She saw two people fighting was like i’d like to try. This, give it a go, and then i find a lot of um. Mma fighters end up finding it simply by like by accident, which is kind of which is kind of neat, because usually when you think about like football, it’s like you’re, passionate about it from a young age, and you follow that route. But with mma it’s a bit different yeah, it’s uh. It definitely wasn’t something i planned on doing um. I don’t know i wasn’t like into you know fighting when i was growing up getting in fights on the playground or any sort of trouble. I was like real cautious, so when i got into mma a lot of people were like pretty surprised that i would even do it and um yeah. Just as you challenge yourself kind of you know it’s because it’s scary man, it’s not it’s not like scary. Getting hit or anything like that, but it’s more of like a fear of, like you, know putting it all out there in front of a group of people. You don’t even know that are in the crowd. You know get. You know getting a fistfight in your underwear and you know it’s it’s kind of wild, it’s a little. You know humbling at times, and it’s also like you know it’s a good like this – is a good challenge to kind of feel that rush and go through a whole camp get in shape, be disciplined and then go out there and test yourself. It is very personal like if you lose it’s on you, you know, like you, get humiliated in front of everybody, whereas, if like with, if you’re playing football and you lose there’s 30 guys 40 guys. So it’s not as embarrassing, almost and same sort of thing on in victory. If you win it almost it’s all on you as well. Obviously you have coaches and stuff like that, but uh. The glory really falls on the on the fighter from uh from a fighter’s perspective. I mean you’re eight years out since your last fight. Do you miss that aspect of all or are you you know i’ve moved on from that, i’m into coaching and managing now? Well, i never had like any delusions of going to the ufc or anything like that, because i didn’t have my first fight till i was like 30. um. I didn’t get into it until i was like what 26 or something like that. So i never had any um. You know. I wasn’t like one of these young kids that gets it now. I’M like! Oh i’m gon na get rich off this and go to the ufc like it wasn’t like a thing back then it was just like. I want to challenge myself, and so i think it was you know i had different goals in the sport and um, so i don’t think it was like something to really miss. It was something i was doing to challenge myself and then, as i was doing that, like i realized like wow, i really enjoy helping these other fighters get ready, whether it be helping them uh, find fights or helping them get. You know get ready for a fight or cornering them on fight night, like i just kind of fell in love with the whole process and um. You know i really feel like. I was starting to make an impact on other people, and then i saw these young people that were in there. You know guys like rob font and that kind of came in and they weren’t like special at all. They were just like another guy in the room, and then you know little by little. We keep making these improvements each camp, and you know then also the turning pro and then they’re winning some pro fights, and you know then fast forward now also they’re in the ufc, and it’s just kind of it was just like the thing i did to help. My friends and then it turned into you, know an actual career yeah. I mean obviously i’m sure these past few months have been some of the hardest. From a coaching and manager’s perspective, you have pandemic the world’s at a standstill. I find one of the hardest things and how do you keep these fighters motivated? You know like you’re, like, oh, my god, i’m not going to fight sports. Aren’T sports aren’t up. How do you get them to be like okay, you got to keep training. You got to stay on weight, something might come up, how do you motivate them and prepare them for a fight that may or may not even happen? So i think there’s like two different hats that i’m wearing one is a coach and one is a manager. So like with rob and calvin, you know i’m their coach and their manager and then there’s a bunch of other guys that i manage and i might help coach them a little bit and give some tips and stuff at training sessions. But i’m not their head coach. Um, so with rob and calvin like as their coach like, i don’t have to motivate them like they’re, where they’re at because they’re self-motivated and that’s nice as a coach, if you have to especially in this sport, if you have to start motivating your fighters, they’re, probably Not people, you should be investing time in and you know i’ve made the mistakes of some of the most talented guys. I’Ve ever been around just aren’t as motivated as as you would like them to be, and you can’t want it more than they do. You know. That’S a saying that me and some of my uh coaching colleagues will kind of uh bounce around he’s like i can’t want it more than the fighter does. If i do huge red flag, i just should put my time and invest it into somewhere else. You know if they’re not willing to invest in themselves. It’S not fair for me to take time away from someone else and put it in them too. So um, you know guys like calvin and rob you don’t have to motivate them like. If anything, you have to kind of pull the reins a little bit and pump the brakes because they’re going to over train, you know. So it’s just about being smart, but when i put my manager hat on that’s where it gets a little tricky with the you know, the like, you said, like hey, just keep training something could come up and that and that’s where it’s a lot of like. I don’t want to say hand holding because that’s a you know kind of has a negative connotation to it, but it’s a lot of like reassurance and like hey just you know, just trust the process like you know this. You know you’re kind of in mma purgatory right now, like especially with no local mma going on right. Now i have a couple guys going nuts and um. You know you can feel the pressure, like, maybe they’re, frustrated with me, but it’s not they’re, not really frustrated with me, they’re frustrated with the situation and um you feel for them, because you want to give them a good answer. You want to be like hey man, you know the next fights in you know six weeks, but it’s not. You know. We don’t know you know especially right now. There could be another round of shutdowns and just more restrictions. So we don’t really know. What’S going to happen, and it’s and it’s easy for the guy, that’s not cutting weight and not trying to peek to tell the guy that is hey just keep training. Just you know be ready to go and um. Some people will be ready to go and some people won’t. You know and at the end of the day, they’re the ones that have to look in the mirror. Every day when, when that call comes – and i always say this, like you – know – you’re going to go to bed the night at night before a fight – you know you weighed in that morning – the weight cuts done. You have a full belly you’re going to go to bed that night you’re going to put your head on your pillow. It’S just going to be you in the room and you’re the one that’s going to have to live with those thoughts of like did. I do enough, i wish i would have done more of this. I’M glad i did this, like whatever those doubts are those little things that say i wish i would have done more six weeks ago, backtrack into that like all right. What are those doubts that i think i’m gon na have like now? Let’S make sure i don’t have those doubts and um those guys got ta get up every day, look in the mirror and know that when that call comes they’re either gon na be ready for it and excited or like oh crap. I wish i had done more and um the guys that are ready. Those are the you know that that’s the champions in the future are those guys. It’S not the guys that oh well, i guess we’ll see what happens and you know we’ll make the best of it and you know i’ll get the shot and then at least get one more. So the guys that are always gon na look in the mirror and be ready. Those are the guys that you know you kind of want to get in bed with and and go all in, and you know take it on this journey like i am with robin calvin right now, no one’s been more ready than calvin. I mean, since the pandemic he’s the first fighter to get two wins and the first one was ultra impressive, um incredible finish over veteran jeremy stevens and then this past weekend against dan ige, a very, very dominant win. I thought i had it four rounds to one um. I thought he looked super impressive, but there was a lot of with the uh with the jeremy stevens fight. You know it was supposed to happen an earlier date, and then it got pushed describe that and describe that from both a coaches and a manager’s perspective and and how did calvin take that as in like was he like? Okay, well, we’ll have to just run it back or we’ll push at a later date, um, i’m sure, knowing him, i’m sure he was all for it um, but describe describe all that and the the difficulties you had with that yeah i mean we started getting that That call in december about hey, we look like we’re gon na fight jeremy stevens, but we need to get clearance for an injury that we had. We still need to get ortho clearance so, like we kind of went into like a little bit of training for a few weeks, not even knowing. If we’re gon na get cleared to fight and then we went, we saw the ortho, they cleared us to fight, and then it was supposed to be march 7th. And then you know week, one of like official camp. Oh, the fight’s, probably getting moved, um hold tight and then you know it’s another week of training like that and it’s gon na be april 18th. All right. Let’S get ready for that and then the pandemic hits and it’s like. Well, let’s keep training because we’re the only card, that’s not cancelled, so you’re training the whole time for a fight that you don’t even know. If it’s going to happen in a location, that’s to be determined um during a pandemic. When we really didn’t know how bad the disease was and like, if everybody was just gon na die or how contagious we really didn’t know, so it was just like the circle kept getting smaller. These doors just kept shutting in our faces, but you know we didn’t get discouraged, calvin didn’t get discouraged. He showed up at all the sessions he kept dieting and then um. Finally, it got you know, it was announced that it was going to be in hitachi palace and then about a week before we’re about to fly out. You know, probably four days before about to fly out, the show gets canceled and then it’s like hey you’re. Definitely not fighting at least till june and then we’re like all right. So you know calvin was like no. Let’S keep training like i’m gon na double down on this, like, let’s keep going so you know he ate a little bit of on easter weekend that you know the next day he was at my house lifting and um. Then he did a little bit. You know with his family for easter and then that next monday we got the call actually it’s may 9th and we’re like all right. Let’S, let’s keep going and you know, and then we had that fight and jerry missed way, and you know he just took it all in stride and you know i think this pandemic’s really brought in the the best and the worst out of people. There’S a lot of people that are using this time to level up and take advantage of everybody else’s. You know, time off and and then there’s people that have been kind of like use it as an excuse to pull back and um. You know when this thing’s all said and done: there’s there’s going to be people that are in line for title shots that might not have been you know six months ago and there’s going to be people that might have been in line for a title shot. Six months ago, and now we’re you know at the back of the line, so i think calvin is um. You know the former he’s he’s taking this pandemic he’s the only fighter in the ufc, like you, said, to go 2-0 and now he’s um. Aside from the champion he’s the only fighter in the featherweight division that has three wins over top 10 people since nine since uh 2019, so i think he’s uh he’s definitely leveled up he’s shown a blueprint to you know some of my younger fighters of like how You handle adversity, how you handle uncertainty and truly how to be a professional. You know we have a saying on our team. It’S it’s. You know focused on what you can control like i’ll, try to control the [ __ ] on the back end and figure out like how we can control more. At the end of the day, like you show up, you listen and you work hard and and that’s all we can control and it’s a bill. Belichick mindset, it’s like one session at a time. It’S like all right, we don’t know what’s going to happen a month, but i do know this morning, we’re wrestling so let’s put in 100. and then after that, we’ll worry about the next session and calvin really does embrace that, and i think some of these younger Fighters, you know calvin was 14 and two before he got in the ufc, and you know he dealt with a lot of adversity before that he dealt with some injuries. He dealt with time off. He dealt with. You know: uh owning a business in his personal life. You know having like adult bills and all that stuff and then some of these younger kids. You know they get up at 18 19 and they get to 3-4-0 and they start to think like it should be handed to them. You know, and then, at the end of the day, like some of those people should you know they may see barbers of the world. They’Ve earned that too um. It’S not a knock on her like she got in really young she’s, obviously very talented, but there’s a lot of other people who are kind of that same age and they see oh well, macy barbara. Did it this person. Did it like? Why didn’t i get my shot, i feel disrespected and then you see him questioning their team and questioning like, oh, you know, do i have the right manager? Do i have the right coach? Do i need to go to this mega camp and i think um there’s no patience. You know, you know calvin says like man like these guys, don’t know how good they have it like with having like contender series and stuff like that. You know used to be back in the day. You’D have to wait for the ultimate fighter and hope that they’d do your weight class within the three years that you were still fighting on the local circuit, but nowadays it’s like every summer. Every little prospect you get to 4-5-0 and you’re, probably going on the contender series and getting paid five and five, whereas someone like calvin cater was scrapping around the local circuit for 10 years, getting 16 fights against some top quality competition. You know for probably a thousand and a thousand, so you know these young kids. They don’t really understand that the um the path are crawling down. How easy it is versus what the fighters like calvin and these other guys came up through uh. You know earning like a legitimate shot. Yeah i mean his. His rise has really reminded me a lot of gilbert burns where they’re doing it the right way, they’re fighting, frequently they’re, not getting negative publicity in a way negative publicity is good publicity. I mean you hear guys like mike perry, conor mcgregor, jorge mosby doll, like this negative attention that they’re getting is really rising them to the top and getting them title shots as a manager. How do you like get your fighters just be like look? Do it the right way it may take us an extra year? Do it the right way, don’t be negative, don’t don’t start calling people out, don’t start doing negative things? How do you do that from a manager’s perspective, and – and i mean i’m sure, a lot of these fighters are just like. Why don’t i just start calling people out because it gets attention? Well, i don’t. This is necessarily like a negative way or a positive way. There’S i i just think this is the organic way, which is just be yourself if you’re, a guy that wants to call people out and talk, crap then go ahead and do it it’ll come off as authentic and then it’ll be like all right. I get this. This guy’s kind of a badass – or you know, he’s doing it he’s not putting on putting on an axe he’s not being fake he’s not doing it because, oh well, i saw that’s what you’re supposed to do. Um, those guys you can see see that you know through that pretty clearly it’s pretty transparent that they’re just putting on a show and then um, and then you can also kind of tell when guys are holding back and not being themselves too. So i i always just coach them like listen just be yourself. Do what feels right, but don’t do it because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. You know, obviously you know don’t be inappropriate. Like there’s certain lines you can’t cross, like you know, you’re not going to start throwing out slurs and stuff like that, but um you know just do what feels right. If you want to call this guy out you’d love to fight him, go ahead like, but don’t call him out, because someone told you you’re supposed to call him out, because you know it just it looks fake. I did. I think it doesn’t resonate well with the fans or even the promotion. So i always just say just be yourself. The right way is just be yourself and they’re going to like you or they’re, not i’d like to talk a little bit about both calvin and then and then rob obviously calvin’s been the more active of the two since the pandemic, like we said he went 2-0 Super impressive, both against ige and obviously stevens uh in super dominant fashion. I think it really plummets him to the top of the division. I mean there almost seemed to be like a little bit of a line between that those top five, the holloways ortega’s, the beets and then the calvins and the emmett’s. I think this really plummets them up there and in a way it almost like leap frogs. I’M ahead of uh the ortegas, who hasn’t, who haven’t been active zabeet, who arguably calvin, could have beat if it went five rounds um, so i mean there’s a case for him to almost have a title shot, especially volkanovsky wants to uh wants to stay busy. What do you want to see next for him? Do you want to see him take one? Maybe one more fight, maybe against a max holloway, or are you like man? If the title fight’s there take it, i mean, i think it’d be it’d, be silly for us not to take a title fight if it presented itself. You know if we’re healthy and um, you know uh. If we’re healthy, it makes sense. You know it’s an opportunity to win a world title which is calvin’s goal. It’S you know we always have these like checkpoints that we’re looking to go to and we just keep climbing this mountain. The view never gets any better, but we get hungrier um. You know we’re not satisfied with a win over jeremy, we’re not satisfied with a decision over egay like yeah, there’s things that we can take out of it that were positive um, but we’re not done. You know like we have these big goals. We have grand goals. Calvin’S trying to set himself up to have a you know a prosperous future financially and and build a legacy for you know for him and his family and – and you know we’re on the way to doing that. You know and obviously a title. You know once you win that ufc title that that’s never shipped you’re, either champ or former champ the rest of your life and uh so it’d be silly for us to say no um if the opportunity presented itself, but at the same time, if it doesn’t present Itself then we get to challenge ourselves against someone else like you know max holloway or an ortega or something like that. Um. Obviously, that’s a that’s a challenge as well and i think a win over those guys almost guarantees you a title shot next, so i think we’re looking at like one or two fights away, um or maybe the next fight. You know, i think, there’s some things that are going to happen that are out of our control, like you said, does alex, want a very quick turnaround. If that’s the case, who’s available, it looks like yeah you’re in the beater fighting zombie and ortega are fighting and then max is just sitting there. So if max wants a quick turnaround, okay, well, then does the ufc really want that trilogy and give him a rematch with different judges and see how it goes, then, maybe he gets it and we’re sitting around or the ufc doesn’t want to go down the trilogy Route and alex wants a quick turnaround, so maybe we skip the line. You know you’ve seen it in the past, where people get rewarded for uh staying active, you know gilbert burns he was able to leave frogley, you know was leon edwards or uh. What’S his name? Um, you know you stay active, you beat good guys and anything’s possible, you know, so a lot of it, you know, is out of our control with you know some decisions that alex and his team have to make, and then the ufc and what direction they want To go with, but yeah man, i think we’re right there you know um, you know you look at the guys in front of us. Just aren’t active, you know mad respect to alex he’s he’s shown the willingness to he says, he’ll fight. All comers like he wants prospects. He would see you know he said in interviews he’s watching calvin’s fight. You know he was interested because he he’s looking at the young prospects to see who’s going to fight in the future and he’s down to fight whoever the ufc wants him to fight. You know he’ll take on prospects, he’s he’s ready, you know so respect to him and you know he’s an ultimate champion and uh and then max holloway’s, the best that’s ever done in the division he’s sitting right there too. So um. You know those guys that their fighters they fight. You know it doesn’t seem like they’re scheming, to get where they want to go um, whereas you know everybody else between us and them man. These guys are like trying to handpick opponents they’re trying to stay active they’re. Trying not to do five round fights because they don’t feel like they’re in shape. We just did a five round fight on a month notice. You know, like we didn’t ask for a three round main event. You know we did a five round main event, because that’s what main events are supposed to do, you’re supposed to be ready, um, you know, and then these other guys taking a couple years off and then you know – and i know some of it’s kind of a Pandemic and different things, but you know it’s – you just got to stay busy, win fights and good things are gon na happen. So you know if we end up getting the alex fight, we get to fight for a title and uh bring a belt home to boston. Finally, you know: we’ve earned it and then, if it doesn’t happen, then then we’re gon na go and earn it with another fight. So it’s uh, you know, activity gets rewarded and you create momentum and then you ride it and i think right now we have good momentum. Speaking of that uh that egay fight uh, i promised you we could talk a little bit of [ __ ] about uh eric next. What was it like? Having him corner opposite you? It was you know, so i’m i’m like a pretty friendly guy me and eric are really chummy. You know we’ll message back and forth on instagram. Whenever i see him a fight, it’s always a big hug. I respect him. Like you know, i just i see a lot of fake coaches in this in this space and guys that are kind of doing it for the cameras that the guys that you see them going out getting hammered on fight week and coming in late. And how prepared are they for the sessions and it’s like it’s not like a fight week to them like they’re, not calling anyone in particular out, but you know everybody that’s been on a ufc fight. We can see it’s like wow you’re here for this guy’s about to go and try to double up his money and not get staples in his forehead and go to the hospital, and here you are getting hammered the night before the fight. Like you know, there’s a time and place for that and i don’t think it’s on a ufc fight week and and then i see you know guys like eric who are you know in the room, holding mitts and working hard and you know being at practice and And bringing that energy of someone who’s committed to it? You know me, and i’ve had conversations about that before that you know i think, he’s one of the uh one of the good guys in uh in mma, and it seems like he’s not he’s not trying to get rich he’s, not trying to get famous he’s just Trying to help his guys win and he’s in the trenches you know with them and uh. So i have a lot of respect for him and his team and and what he does and um when we got the fight. That was the first i was like. I mean i was literally just messaging that morning about another fight and then we got the egay fight and i was like oh geez and i posted something instagram and he like dm me he’s like hey bro. I was like all right. Let’S uh, you know beers on the winner, but you know you know it’s all business, you know and um and then we saw him at the airport when we uh we’re checking in for the flight and he walked up and i was kind of cold to him. But i’m like sitting right by calvin and you know calvin – doesn’t play the game like he you’re trying to steal his money. So you know i kind of feel the same way too. It’S like you know, we’re we’re buddies, but not until the fight’s over like when the fight’s over. We can be friends again, but right now i have to go into a certain head space and you know we have to get ready to go to battle and i have to get calvin in the right head space and me being over here being chummy with you. It’S not real because i’m not feeling like i want to hang out with you on fight week, because i’m trying to kill your guy and i’m trying to out coach you and um after it’s all fine. You know whether i win or lose i’ll be fine with you, but like right now, like i’m in that zone and and obviously calvin’s in the zone and we’re gon na do our own thing, and so he kind of came up and he read the vibe real. Quick and he was like okay all right and then after the after the fight right in the cage he’s like no we’re all good man he’s like i saw you guys. I saw that’s how we’re gon na play this week. That’S fine he’s, like i respect that and then now you know now we laugh about it. You know right after the fight. You know i they’re about to leave. No, no guys get back in here like let’s take a group photo like you know, because, right after the jeremy stevens, when we took a group photo with eric and ghana, while back you know, it’s like you know, we’re kind of a big mma family as much As we try to kill each other on a weekly, you know every saturday night um, you know we are a small net community and we’re just trying to help the the sport grow and you know um. So it felt right. You know they were about to walk out. I was like i’ll get in here. Let’S take a group photo, and i thought that was pretty cool um, that you know all our coaches and his coaches and calvin and dan got to take a photo in the cage together. So i thought that was pretty nice but yeah. I didn’t like it’s not cool having eric on the other side uh i was joking around today i was like it was offensive, but it was uh. No, it’s cool. It’S an honor man. You know i’ve gotten to test myself off against um. You know. Obviously, it’s not me in there and it’s not eric in there, but like i’m competitive, and so i go through this camp, but you know it might be midnight and i’m trying to go to bed and i’m thinking. No, i got ta watch a little bit more. Video i got ta outwork eric, you know and then, if it’s not eric it’s you know eric delfiro last time and and next time, hopefully it’s max hallway or max holloway or uh. You know alex walking off these coaches. I’M gon na try to be better than eugene. You know um, so i look at you know from that point of view. It’S like i’m competitive as a coach. I want to outwork them and – and i want my fighters to outwork their fighters. So it’s um. You know i i respect him and he’s from a great camp and he’s got good fighters, and it’s cool to you know, challenge yourself against the guys that you see on tv every weekend and that come from these big camps that have a lot more cycles than We do and try to uh. You know test myself against them. You know i’ve had the honor of cornering against, like faraz mike brown um like eric delfiro uh. You know just you know eric just a lot of guys. You know um rufus like pretty much like every major coach. I’Ve had and i’ve gone in there and you know jackson’s, all those guys. You know it’s pretty cool like seeing those guys that, like even before i was in mma, seeing them on tv, cornering fighters and now i’m going head-to-head with them and and trying to you know, play this game a chess and you know and and beat them. So it’s uh keeps me, keeps me driven, i guess, yeah eric is really one of the nice guys. I mean i reached out to him. I talked to him as well, and i mean you can really see it why fighters are successful like usually it comes from a strong camp and – and i mean francis inganu – is one of the is the scariest guy in the ufc. In my opinion – and i think it really shows the work that he’s done with them, um as well – and i mean same – goes to you with the success like both with calvin and rob. As for rob, i mean, obviously he hasn’t been as active as calvin. I’M sure he’s dying to get back in there and he’s kind of in a very similar spot to what calvin was before this, where you know there’s a little bit of a gap between those guys at the top. You know you got the the marlon morisses, the cody garbrandts, i’m sure he wants to jump into that into that title. Conversation um. Does he do you think he has to take a step back and maybe fight like the equivalent of a dan ige in order to really make a statement, or do you think that maybe he might be able to get a shot against a cody or marlin or One of these one of these guys, so you know he he beat the ricky, he be ricky simone last december and he tore his acl in that fight. So he had reconstructive surgery. I think january 22nd until he’s about a month away from getting cleared to go into camp, so we’re thinking that he’ll fight – probably you know, october november and uh, you know he’s alright he’s riding a two-fight win streak, even though it was sergio perez. Two years ago. Ricky simone last year, so he just had a little bit of a you know healthy scratch for one year because the lineker pulled out the week. You know the night before weigh-ins and then we didn’t get a quick turnaround. So we fought ricky in december and um, but at the end of the day, like he’s, still riding a win over sergio perez and he dominated him and then through through ricky simone around the cage who just beat up ray borg. So i mean he’s coming off. Two big wins, you know and i think they’re kind of getting lost a little bit in the quality of wins just because they’ve been spaced apart and then he had an injury but uh you know rob. This will be his third one-year layoff since he’s been in the ufc for uh since 2014. he had a medical suspension, then he had a healthy scratch and then now he’s got the uh, the um, the knee injury. Every single time he’s come back. He smashed a guy. You know he came back after his first layoff and knocked joey gomez out. I think in the first round, and then after the next layoff, he you know beat up ricky simone. Who was you know a lot of people thought that was a nightmare matchup for rob, because you know ricky’s pressure, wrestler he’s so good and you know and rob was able to take him down and ricky couldn’t hold him down, and you know he pretty much beat Ricky with one leg, um and all he’s done this last year is level up. You know he’s done his rehab he’s been paying. You know paying attention to the what the doctors and the the pt staff are saying, but um you know he’s working a lot on like the mental game and then now he’s able to finally move around and he’s working on a lot of stuff like he he’s Getting better, even even while doing rehab and bt he’s getting stronger he’s getting better he’s got like a whole new mindset on the game, so you know we’re really excited to see him get back in there. It really doesn’t matter who he fights, because if you said a year ago, like what’s rob’s night a year and a half ago, what’s the worst matchup for rob, it would have been like a ricky simone and then he just went out and took arguably one of The best wrestlers in the division and just kind of toyed with him with one leg. So who are you going to throw at us now? You know there’s not many guys that rob can’t beat as long as he shows up. You know he laid a little bit of an egg during the uh asansal fight. He took his foot off the gas pedal against pedro munoz um. You know there’s nothing wrong with that. Like you know, he he took the john lineker fight in his third ufc fight and um in brazil against you know, in a soccer stadium with 45 000 people – and it was a great learning experience, he learned off that loss and then you know, and then he Learned off the the munos loss and it just gets better after losses and then now he’s riding two wins and he’s coming off the year layoff and he’s done a lot of mental growth in that year. I think the time away makes you realize like okay, like this, is how much i love this, and it gives you a little bit of a reset and um. You know the sport’s so much mental and when you’re that, when you’re way that long and you get to see what calvin’s doing and he’s been part of that that rise with him, like, i think, he’s starting to see like how close he really is. You know um, it’s just cool like him and calvin going through this whole thing together and you know pushing each other. So i think i think he’s motivated by seeing calvin’s success. You know in his layoff he’s seen calvin headline two shows he’s seen him go from being ranked in the top 15 to now be ranked six and you know, hopefully the rankings change soon and we’re a little higher. But you know now: calvin’s entitled contention talk and and rob’s the same thing he’s riding a two-fight win streak depending on who we fight. Next, it could give us that big fight – you know so uh he’s right there, too uh i’m excited about seeing what you know him come back and who we get so i’m gon na ask you one more and then i’ll and then i’ll. Let you get back to your night. I’Ve been dying, i would have paid, i would have spent everything in my bank account to go to flight island. As someone who was there who lived it, who experienced it, did it live up to the hype? I mean it’s so hard because it’s like obviously the whole thing: it’s like a commercial for abu dhabi, this whole fight island. It’S really like the you know: uae the united arab emirates, they’re really trying to go all in and, like you know, push abu dhabi is a you know: a tourist destination and a vacation spot and everything, but it’s so hard because we didn’t really get to see It you know, we stayed in one hotel that had one road that went to the beach, and that was really all you got to see and it was cool i mean, and there could have been a worse time of year for us to go. It’S like the heat of the summer 120 degrees with like 70 80 humidity, so it was like really tough to be outside, but um it was definitely cool. It was just so frustrating because you’re that close to to dubai, you know which do you hear all about, and it’s like we’re going to go and then there’s this like you look at your hotel and there’s this big red building the ferrari building. You know like the ferrari race or whatever it is. You want to see what’s going on there, but you can’t go and then off in the distance. You see these cool buildings, but you’re not allowed to go over there, so it was like it was like so frustrating because you could like you’re in this, like amazing part of the world, and you literally couldn’t go anywhere um. So it was tough and you know i don’t think we got to eat a lot of like the local cuisine, cuisine or anything like that or go to any of the fine restaurants. We were kind of you know stuck in the hotel and eating. You know uh a restricted menu on what they had there, so i don’t think we got to see like what fight island can really be if it was actually open. You know, but um man. We have a cool story to tell in 20 years. You know like the time we trained through a pandemic and knocked out jeremy stevens in in florida and then and then a month later, on on one month’s notice went to fight island and headlined a card, and uh came back with a big w. So it’s uh yeah, we always say we’re hitting these checkpoints and we’re making memories and like the wins and losses. Those will always be there, but the memories that we make with our friends. You know on the long plane rides in the hotels while under quarantine and all those things. Those are the things that, like we’re going to be talking about when we get old and the inside jokes and stuff like that, so it’s man, you know it’s been unfortunate, that we’re having this quarantine, but you know we’ve really taken the time to uh. You know. Do some stuff that we’ll be talking about the rest of our lives, all right man? Thank you, uh! Thank you! So much for for taking the time. I really appreciate you coming on here and all the best to you all the best in rob’s recovery and and hopefully, calvin gets a big fight. Man, i’m rooting for you guys. I appreciate it man. Thank you all the best